Education professor Monica McEnerny eagerly spoke recently to a room full of Castleton students around about her “Journey to Kazakhstan.”
McEnerny’s presentation was very interactive including having students play a trivia game about Kazakhstan to grasp the audience's attention. Wearing a tribal-esque shawl, she spoke loud and clear about the ninth largest country in the world. Her presentation was filled with videos and pictures of her trip allowing her to share each and every experience she had with passion.
“Every day was an adventure,” said McEnery.
She told how she spent her time working and teaching as a Fulbright specialist at KIMEP University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The Fulbright program is a competitive scholarship program designed for graduating or graduate students who want to teach or study abroad.
Students were surprised when what seemed to be an informational travel presentation quickly became an unexpected advertisement for this Castleton scholarship program.
Peter Baird, who attended the presentation because it was recommended by one of his professors, “was expecting to learn about the culture and history of Kazakhstan.”
Although he did enjoy that part of the discussion, he said he felt the presentation only gave a brief overview of Kazakhstan and was a little heavy on the scholarship details.
“I am not interested in applying for this scholarship. It sounds like an incredible program, but I am happy with my job that involves helping men from Rutland and Bennington counties transition back into society from being incarcerated,” said Baird.
But Alexa Ritchie, a first-semester freshman at the University, was happy that the presentation had a healthy mix of information.
“I thought it was very interesting to learn about her experience in Kazakhstan as well as her experience with the Fulbright program. I actually plan to study abroad very soon and although I don’t think I will be applying for this scholarship, it definitely provided me with another option to consider in the future,” said Ritchie.
McEnerny said the Fulbright program can be life-changing and said, “knowledge is power.” She said the program allows students to not only experience a different culture, but also to study the field of their choice in that other culture.
McEnerny is an advisor at Castleton for the Fulbright Scholarship Committee. If you are interested in this program you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone (802) 468-1358.